Sunday, July 15, 2012

Unplugging to Plug in

I’m guilty of spending far too much time on the internet, checking Facebook, Twitter and browsing the forums on Authonomy. I have accounts on Goodreads, Pinterest and even something called Gothise, but I’m not exactly sure what it is or how I ended up there.

Sure, social networking is fun. My virtual friends are witty, sarcastic and funny. The problem is, I can lose hours to each of these things and not actually accomplish anything of value. There are times when someone’s status update will take precedent over something one of my kids have asked me, and that’s just wrong.

Not only am I connected to the internet by my faithful laptop, the vast information highway follows me where ever I go. Cell phones, smart phones, iPhones, iPods, iPads and Tablets are all wonderful devices, designed with the convenience of being portable. With 3G, 4G and free WiFi pretty much everywhere I go, I don’t even need to be sitting at my desk to get my internet fix. It’s always there, morning, noon and night. When I leave the house, go out for lunch, go grocery shopping, go to the gym or even spend an afternoon at the local pool with my family.

On the odd occasion I can’t actually connect to the virtual world – I have texts at my fingertips. Not quite as much fun, but for some strange reason, texting has become the communication of choice. Sometimes it seems easier, and perhaps less intrusive than a phone call, but is it really the same as truly connecting with a friend?

This week, while my husband is on holidays, I will also be taking a holiday. I will give myself the gift of unplugging for hours at a time, so I can focus on my children, my writing and connecting with friends in the physical world. This isn’t to say I won’t check in once and a while – I’m an independently published writer, so disconnecting completely would be suicide, but I will be placing some strict limits on my internet usage. No more Bejeweled games, no more checking Facebook’s news feed multiple times a day or idly skimming through the forums on Authonomy or other sites. I think it’s reasonable to allow 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 minutes in the afternoon to see where the world is at beyond my physical space – but other than that, I will be signing out. I owe it to myself, my children and my husband to take care of what I can feel and touch. So, for this week, at least, I will be unplugging so I can plug in with them and give them the quality time they deserve.


  1. Yes, we are all guilty of too much online and how it pulls us in isn't an easy habit to break. I think its great you can now balance this and cut it back to just a half hour or so. I've been doing the same. Good luck! Lifes too short- enjoy your family:) Great photo!

    1. This is only my attempt to balance it. And a challenge for myself to reconnect with the real world because I spend far too many hours in the virtual word. Especially when I'm writing.